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Last modified: Tuesday, November 11, 2003 

(v.) To load the first piece of software that starts a computer. Because the operating system is essential for running all other programs, it is usually the first piece of software loaded during the boot process.

Boot is short for bootstrap, which in olden days was a strap attached to the top of your boot that you could pull to help get your boot on. Hence, the expression "pull oneself up by the bootstraps." Similarly, bootstrap utilities help the computer get started.

(n.) Short for bootstrap, the starting-up of a computer, which involves loading the operating system and other basic software. A cold boot is when you turn the computer on from an off position. A warm boot is when you reset a computer that is already on.

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For pages about boot . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

BIOS System Boot Operations
Describes what is involved in booting a PC, including a discussion of the steps in the system boot process, and a look at the power-on self-test (POST) that is conducted whenever the system starts up. This page is from "The PC Guide."

Getting the Boot
Describes how to plan, partition, install, and remove DOS, OS/2, NT, and other operating systems on the same disk at the same time. Includes information on how to diagnose boot time failures. Topics include: FDISK, MBR, BootManager, Dual Boot, boot sectors, primary partitions, and logical volumes.

PC system BIOS reference
Reference information on the system BIOS. Includes a complete look at what the BIOS is and how it works. Covers components and features, the boot process and the setup program. Includes a detailed reference covering dozens of individual BIOS settings.

Troubleshooting boot problems
Step-by-step procedure for diagnosing PC boot problems from "The PC Guide".

Troubleshooting Boot-Time Error Messages
Detailed page that describes how to analyze and correct boot problems, including A20 line failures, checksum errors, battery problems, disk problems, and DMA errors. This page is from "The PC Guide."

related categories

Operating Systems

Procedures, Functions and Routines

related terms


boot sequence

bootable diskette


clean boot

cold boot

dual boot




operating system

power-on self test


system disk

warm boot

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